Regional- to local-scale controls on waterfalls in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado Regional- to local-scale controls on waterfalls in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

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Vol17 No.8: 1874-1890

Title】Regional- to local-scale controls on waterfalls in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Author】Jose A. ORTEGA-BECERRIL1*; Bridget LIVERS 2,3; Ellen WOHL 3

Addresses】1 Department of Geology and Geochemistry, Autonomous University of Madrid, Madrid. 28049, Spain; 2 Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011 USA ; 3. Department of Geosciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1482, USA

Corresponding author】Jose A. ORTEGA-BECERRIL

Citation】Ortega-Becerril JA, Livers B, Wohl E (2020) Regional- to local-scale controls on waterfalls in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. Journal of Mountain Science 17(8). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11629-019-5804-1

DOI】https://doi.org/10.1007/s11629-019-5804-1

Abstract】Previous work on the eastern side of Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP), Colorado indicated correlations among waterfall location, waterfall morphology, and the characteristics of bedrock joints. Characteristics of waterfalls on the western side of the national park do not correlate as strongly with joint geometry. Longitudinal river profiles on the western side are less concave and waterfalls account for a greater proportion of the total elevation loss. We interpret these differences to result from more widely spaced joints, lithological differences, and complex glacial history. These results demonstrate that waterfall shape and typology may change due to both local and regional controls operating in a mountain region. Both regions had alpine valley glaciers, but continued landscape evolution via fluvial erosion has developed waterfalls with diverse locations and morphologies that reflect the influences of glacial deposits, bedrock erosional resistance, and joint geometry.

Keywords】Waterfall; Rocky Mountain National Park; Knickpoint; Bedrock; Mountain stream; regional-scale controls